Re: Preparing doc for translation

Subject: Re: Preparing doc for translation
From: Vincent Borghi <vb -at- SCOPE -dot- FDN -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 09:03:04 GMT

(apologies for my poor english, I am french...)

1) Simplified english is not a solution for the given problem:
In my opinion, things like "simplified english" or "restricted grammars"
do not apply to the original problem, i.e. "preparing doc for translation".

The aim of using a simplified/restricted english is to produce
a document that is understandable by a foreign reader (who is not
necessarily english-literate). The aim *is not* to produce
a document easier to translate.

-> Have in mind that translators do understand plain english:
that is their job.
-> However, simplified/restricted english can be useful in the case of
documents that will stay as is, i.e. that will not be translated,
and will be read by foreign mediocre english-readers.

2) True solutions for the given problem:
To prepare your document for translation, the basic idea is very
simple : ***** make it good ***** !

PS1: This involves for example:
- make your document short (throw away useless text...)
- make it structured
- use homogeneous, uniform, terminology
- consider the reader is intelligent : give fine details only when it
is necessary (the "step by step" syndrome is boring for the reader;
here in France, american documentations are sometimes considered as
laughable, due to the incredible details that are given in instructions)
- of course, forget your cultural background : throw away all
references to hamburgers, God, white house, feministic debate, and
so on :-). Think like a stateless person.
- etc.

PS2: Concerning the material aspects, have in mind that many countries
use A4 or A5 paper format, and have 4-rings binders (US legal and letter
ans 3-rings binders are no-no's).

Au revoir, et merci de votre attention,
Vincent BORGHI (Freelance Technical Writer)
41, avenue de Savoie Phone: (+33) 76 97 58 78
38580 ALLEVARD Email: vb -at- ediscope -dot- fdn -dot- org
FRANCE NeXT mail accepted

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